The Tradesperson: Stretches & Self-Massage Tips

Male Therapist Doing Massage
The Tradesperson:                                          Stretches & Self-Massage Tips
Taking Care of Yourself at Work Is Important

Not only is it important to regularly correct your posture at work but it is also important to incorporate stretches and self-massage. This goes for all working environments, from office jobs, to trades work, and even highly active jobs. In this blog series you will find a list of some very useful stretches and massage techniques specifically beneficial for each job type. 

The Tradesperson

Many trades jobs are active and laborious which can affect your back, neck and shoulders. Constantly bending over or looking up at the ceiling can take its toll after years of work. However, there are things you can try to relieve some tension and pain.  

It is really important to make sure that you are looking after your body and seek help if injury occurs or excessive pain. Lifting in awkward positions can be detrimental and it’s important to have correct posture before lifting heavy objects. Here are a few stretches to relieve tension and stiffness. Remember to stretch to wherever is comfortable for you. 

Stretches
Decompressing The Spine

Grab onto a wall, desk, railing, chair or anything at about hip height or higher. Face the wall or station and place both hands on the wall, lean backwards into an L shape. From there push into the wall and try to feel your back lengthening long and straight.  

Neck Stretch

If you’re spending all day looking up at the ceiling or electrical line-posts, then you may benefit from these stretches.  

Sit up straight and drop your head down. Interlock your fingers and place the palms of your hands on your head. Use the weight of your arms to gently stretch your neck and upper back. If you would like, introduce some movement to the stretch. Slowly turn your head to the left and right while in this stretch, it doesn’t need to be much movement. 

Lateral Shoulder Stretch

With one hand, grab onto something sturdy like a door frame. Then lean your body away from the door frame. You should feel a stretch through the side of your shoulder, arm and ribs. 

Self-Massage
Forearms

Take your hand and massage with your thumb in a circular motion over your forearms with medium pressure feeling for the spots of tension. Once you come across a sore spot press your thumb harder into the spot and wait until it dissipates.  

If the spot refers a dull ache up or down your arm you’ve hit the jackpot! This is a trigger point and you will get the most relief from releasing these areas. 

Massage Ball in The Back

Investing in a massage ball or tennis ball is definitely recommended. Sit in a chair at work or lean into a wall, place the ball on the areas of tension and stiffness on your back and lean into the ball to release the tension. You may need to adjust as you go. 

Self-Myofascial Release of Upper Traps

This can be done sitting or standing. With both hands, curl your fingers slightly so that you are using the tips of the finger pads for this, make sure all your fingers are together.  

Then place them as far as you can reach above your head and down your back and place in the fleshy area between your shoulder blades. Then, without force, use the weight of your arms to drag the fingers upwards the towards the neck. This should feel like a pulling or stretching feeling. It works best with contact on the skin. 

Continue all the way to the top of the shoulders and repeat. You can continue up the neck as well. 

Whether your work is sedentary, active or repetitive, your body needs care. Your muscle pains and aches must not be ignored. With a few of these stretches and self-massage techniques you can look after your muscles at work to reduce tension and pain.  

This blog only lists a few stretches out of a multitude of stretches. If any of these stretches do not work for your body, please let your massage therapist know and they can give you some other options to try.